While his career has been literally up in the clouds, Boeing [NYSE: BA] Test & Evaluation Chief Pilot for F/A-18 Programs Ricardo Traven said the root of working in the aerospace field starts firmly on the ground – in the classroom.
During a discussion with cadets on Sept. 20 at the Qatar Leadership Academy in Al Khor, Traven shared stories from his decades flying military aircraft, stressing the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education, and the roles those disciplines can have on achieving a career in the aerospace industry.
“We have an obligation to encourage the next generation of aerospace leaders to pursue their higher-education goals and to follow their career dreams,” Traven said. “There are real opportunities throughout the aerospace industry within their reach. It is clear to me that their fascination with math, science and aviation has been sparked, and this was a fantastic opportunity to help fuel that interest.”
Traven’s visit was part of a Boeing Lecture Series launched in January 2011 to support the educational goals of Qatar’s National Vision 2030 for human development and sustainable economic diversification. Previous speakers in the Lecture Series, such as a former NASA astronaut, are chosen to provide real-life experiences and guidance to students pursuing careers in aerospace.
The Qatar Leadership Academy is a boarding school formed through an educational partnership between the Qatar Foundation and the Qatar Armed Forces.
“The session was an eye-opening experience for the cadets,” said Mr. Colin H. Campbel, a leadership teacher at the academy. “Ricardo serves as a real-life example of what a person can achieve when he is committed to his education, and he showed the cadets the challenging and fulfilling career possibilities that await them.”
In addition to his role with F/A-18 Programs, Traven is also certified to fly the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, a military derivative of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800. Traven graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, and has been an instructor at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School.
Boeing’s relationship with Qatar extends across its business units. Qatar Airways operates dozens of Boeing 777 commercial airplanes and has ordered 30 787 Dreamliners. The Qatar Emiri Air Force has used its two C-17 Globemaster III airlifters to provide humanitarian aid around the world.
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